A Small Place

by arielyoung

Ariel Young

A Small Place is not for casual reading. The book can be broken down into four parts. The first part listing out activities one might experience as a tourist while pointing out all the things that one will not think of.

The dirty water in the blue ocean because of a lack of sewage systems, the resentment islanders feel to tourists, and the corrupt government officials that control the island. In the second part the author cum speaker describes how Antigua used to be. She goes into detail about how it became a tourist location. The third part is about the saddening though that perhaps Antigua was better in the old days. The final part describes Antigua as “too beautiful,” and “the beauty seems too unreal.” She then states that, when masters let go of the title of masters they become “just human beings,” and when slaves are given their freedom they too become “just human beings.” A small place is a scathing admonishment to tourists who “meet people like them,” and look at the local city without thinking. Through stories from her own childhood, harsh truths and a fearlessness that allows her to point the finger at the reader themselves, A Small Place scathingly reminds us that we’re not the only ones inhabiting this world. Kincaid purposefully makes the reader feel uncomfortable and guilty about the issues discussed, especially those that have been tourists before. The book shows how colonisation can continue even after most of the colonisers have “gone home.”

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